It is always a real pleasure when one of our own is recognized for his or her work. The Royal Astronomical Society announced late yesterday that one of our Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) team’s postdoctoral researchers, Dr. Katherine Joy, has been awarded the 2013 ‘G’ Winton Capital Award for her pioneering research unraveling the impact history of the inner Solar System through studies of lunar samples, including meteorites and rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts.

Dr Joy’s personal commitment to this work was clearly evidenced by the research she is undertaking in extreme environments, such as Iceland and Antarctica. Her commitment and scientific prowess has already won her two prestigious post-doctoral fellowships – at Birkbeck College, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston – within 5 years of finishing her PhD obtained at Birkbeck College’ Earth Science Department and she now holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Manchester.

Dr Joy’s work combines laboratory chemical analysis of Moon samples with the analysis of spacecraft data, most notably from the ESA Smart-1 mission. Her research has enabled her and colleagues to identify probable fragments of the lunar basin-forming impactors. This now allows the source population of asteroidal impactors in the early Solar System to be better constrained and has led to a number of high-profile publications including a recent paper in Science.

Dr Joy is highly committed to teaching and public outreach, giving large numbers of school and popular talks. She was largely responsible for the development of the scientific case for the international MoonZoo project which utilizes public participation to analyse high-resolution images of the lunar surface currently being obtained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. Dr Joy serves as an enthusiastic and proactive Editorial Advisor for the RAS’s journal Astronomy and Geophysics.

Congratulations Joy!

About the Winton Capital Awards

Two prizes, sponsored by Winton Capital, of £1,000 each for research by a Post Doctoral Fellow in a UK institution in astronomy (‘A’) & geophysics (‘G’) respectively whose career has shown the most promising development. At the time of nomination candidates, in normal circumstances, should have completed their PhD no more than 5 years previously. The remit of the ‘G’ Awards Committee is for geophysics, solar physics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary and meteoritic sciences. It considers candidates for the Gold Medal, the Chapman Medal and the Price Medal. It also provides recomendations to Council for the Harold Jeffreys Lecturer, for new Honorary Fellows of the Society, for the Fowler and Winton Capital Awards in Geophysics, the Group Achievement Award and for the RAS Award for Service. For more information visit:

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NLSI Team

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